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Massacre Rocks

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From MP's sister site: MTB Project

Massacre Rocks  

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Elevation: 4,000'
Location: 42.6718, -113.0046 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrator: Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Andy Laakmann on Nov 13, 2006
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Dorky photo, but it gives you an idea of the place


A vast area of Basalt sport climbing. There are hundreds and hundreds of climbs. The climbing, while fun, isn't worthy of a drive across a few states - particularly with the City of Rocks nearby. But for those within a few hours, this place makes an awesome cold weather destination. The fine, desert sand between your toes is a welcome sensation after a long, cold winter.

I'll add more information as I become familiar with the place.

One word of warning.... watch out for the snakes. Seriously, they don't call it the Snake River for nothing.

Getting There 

Directions and more info can be found here:

Climbing Season

Weather station 0.4 miles from here

51 Total Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',14],['2 Stars',16],['1 Star',8],['Bomb',1]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Massacre Rocks:
Main Street   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch   All American Wall
Pretty Woman   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch   All American Wall
Browse More Classics in Massacre Rocks

Featured Route For Massacre Rocks
 On the last bolt of French Connection

French Connection 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a  ID : Massacre Rocks : Love Connection
Awkward start to a amazing overhanging acrobatic jug haul....[more]   Browse More Classics in ID

Photos of Massacre Rocks Slideshow Add Photo
Massacre Rocks
BETA PHOTO: Massacre Rocks
Massacre Rocks
BETA PHOTO: Massacre Rocks
The good life at Massacre.
BETA PHOTO: The good life at Massacre.
Massacre rocks - View of Eagle Wall from Comedy Wa...
BETA PHOTO: Massacre rocks - View of Eagle Wall from Comedy Wa...
Massacre Rocks
BETA PHOTO: Massacre Rocks
scenic view of the area
BETA PHOTO: scenic view of the area
St. Patrick's Day Sunset at Massacre Rocks
BETA PHOTO: St. Patrick's Day Sunset at Massacre Rocks

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 9, 2014
By Bill Ballace
From: Pullman,WA
Jul 12, 2007
Surprisingly "Rocn'n Road", by Tim Toula, Gives this area four out of five stars, while he gives City of Rocks only three. This makes me want to check Massacre out.
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Aug 3, 2007
I'd give the City 4/5 stars.. Massacre, maybe 2/5 stars. Massacre's advantage is warmer temps in the cool seasons, but the climbing can't touch what the City has to offer. The City is a world class destination... Massacre, while fun, is most certainly not.
By ktmt
From: Missoula, MT
Nov 15, 2008
Agree completely with Massacre 2/5 stars, City 4/5. Massacre is good early spring destination when City is snowed in. It's a fun place, great for mileage and clipping bolts. Like a big outdoor climbing gym with hawks.
By Christine E.
Apr 30, 2009
This was the first place I went to do outdoor sport climbing after starting in the gym. I feel like it was a great place for a beginner for several reasons, one of which was that there was no one else there (though it was a weekday). Thus, it was easy for us to take our time, and I felt comfortable getting used to things. The location was easy to get to, and it was really warm for early March. We camped out under the stars and enjoyed some great beers from The Grapevine in Pocatello. I could not have asked for a better first experience climbing outdoors. So - from a beginner's perspective, I'd have to say I recommend it highly. Since Massacre, I have done a few climbs in Little Cottonwood Canyon in SLC and they were much more nerve-wracking for me.
By dave bingham
Apr 7, 2010
As a semi-local and City of Rocks guide author, my 2 cents is that Massacre is one of the best pure-sport areas in the U.S! With an ungodly number of featured basalt routes,(upwards of 700)this is one of the best places on earth for cranking mass quantities of sport routes. Nearby City of Rocks is great, but lacks classic "sport" walls where you can open up the rope bag and climb all day.

Two things keep Massacre from being an A-list area. Firstly, access is adventurous, involving complex route finding from the small town of American Falls, finishing with tricky navigation on sandy tracks w several fence crossings. Good directions can be had online at the ISU website. Traditionally, the "Main Wall" was approached by crossing the Snake River via canoe at Massacre Rocks State Park. For several years, locals kept boats stashed for fellow climber use, but that ended after several boats disappeared.

The other negative factor (or positive depending on your preference) is that the bulk of the climbs are solid 5.11, and don't offer much if you don't climb at least 5.10.If you operate in the upper .11 zone, Massacre is onsight paradise, with lots of crazy (challenging)sequences and cool features.

Most of the use these days is in the back alcove areas, a unique landscape of sandy coves sculpted by the ice-age Bonneville Flood. Most of the climbs are 100' or less, but amazingly equipped with ample bolts and quick-lowering anchors.

There is sweet (free) camping in the sandy juniper on the rim, with many crags within a few minutes of camp.

By Mike Roghaar
Apr 20, 2010
Spot on Dave. Spot on. Your 2 cents is worth a dollar. Thanks for the guide books for the City by the way. My favorite place since My dad started taking me there when I was 2 years old.
By Ezra Ellis
May 29, 2011
Rattle snake

There is a rattle snake in may of 2011 on the all american wall 50 feet to the climbers left of Rawhide
By Brian Fedigan
From: Boise, ID
Jul 15, 2011
If you have not heard the BLM is proposing closing this crag to climbing due to protection of cultural resources. If you want to help please contact your concerns to Mike Courtney of the BLM: mcourtney@blm.gov. You can also be added to a master email list by contacting Troy Neu at tneu@oldtownembroidery.com. This is AN AWESOME CRAG; please help keep it open. July 2011
By Brian Fedigan
From: Boise, ID
Aug 25, 2011
The Massacre Rocks closure has been listed on the Federal Register. That means you have thirty days to comment on the closure. BE HEARD, WRITE A LETTER. Send your letter and/or comments to the BLM by going to their website blm.gov/id/st/en/info/nepa.htm..., emailing them id_burley_fo_@blm.gov, mailing them 15 East 200 South Burley, ID 83318 or faxing them at 208-677-6699 PLEASE ACT NOW!
By nelsras
From: Fillmore, UT
Aug 11, 2012
Online guidebook maintained by Bruce A. Black has moved to


Check it out.
By Ken Aho
Jul 9, 2014
I agree with D. Bingham. Based on my experience, climbing all over Western US for 20+ years, I find that Massacre ranks among the best sport climbing destinations.

The routes are generally difficult for beginners (>10d) and the access is a bit complex (see www.seiclimbing.com). Upon arrival, however, you will generally find that you have over 600 mostly-high-quality routes to yourself.

Climbing is also possible year round. In the summer months go in the morning to West-Facing walls (e.g., La Petite Covette, Hobbit Wall, Eagle Wall), and in the evening go to East-facing walls (e.g., Love Connection, Red Light District).
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